November Case-Shiller Report: The Housing Market Struggles To Turn The Corner

Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, summed up the real estate conundrum in the Huffington Post, “The most likely scenario in the U.S. is that in 2012 prices will bob around a bit, with one month’s gain being reversed the next month. In general, over the next couple of years, house prices will do nothing more than remain broadly stable.” I couldn’t agree more and stated much the same sentiment last summer as I watched the Steamboat Springs real estate market waver; up one month, then down the next.

case shiller nov 2011
case shiller nov 2011

The November Case-Shiller Home Price Index continues to paint a dismal picture of a housing market mired down by homes in foreclosure, unemployment rates still high in many key markets, and overall economic uncertainty. Even record low mortgage rates aren’t helping since loan qualification standards remain stringent and in many cases out-of-reach.

Here are some not-so-high-lights from the November Case-Shiller Price Index:

* For the second consecutive month, 19 of 20 cities saw home price decreases with the 10-city composite coming in -3.6% versus November 2010, and the 20-city composite down -3.7%

* Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa all reached new lows in November

* From 2006 peaks, both Composites are down close to 33% through November

* As of November 2011, average home prices across the US are back to mid-2003 levels

While they are few, the high-lights from November’s Case-Shiller are:

* Detroit and Washington DC posted positive annual returns of +3.8% and +0.5% respectively

* Phoenix posted a monthly gain of +0.6%

I stand by my conviction that real estate is local, and while the Steamboat Springs’ real estate market continues to struggle for traction, inventory is lower and in some segments completely cherry-picked, and our local economy is showing some positive signs. I am optimistic that in 2012 at least some home price segments will rebound, and that we’ll see sustained economic improvement in both Steamboat Springs and our second/vacation home feeder markets.

—For more information on buying real estate or questions regarding Steamboat Springs real estate  in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, feel free to call Charlie at 970-846-6435 or write me an email at: